It is about the bike

September 11, 2008

Unless you have been under a rock for the past 24 hours, you know that the ‘Boss’ is ending his retirement to take a shot at an eighth Tour de France. I guess one question is answered.  Chasing starlets is not as satisfying as chasing the Maillot Jaune. 

The next question is which team will both have Lance and will Lance have?  The logical first choice is to hook up with the other half of cycling’s most successful tandem, Johan Bruneel.  Not so fast.  Astana is not officially out of the ASO’s doghouse and given the chilly relationship between the Texan and the ASO, the latter may be tempted to extend Astana’s penance for another year.  So, if not Astana, who?  Well like all good novels, we need to wait for another couple of weeks.

I have mixed feelings about this.  Sports history is filled with athletes who tried and failed to capture their glory days.  In fact, most returns from retirements turn out to be an embarrassment for the athlete.  Then again, are there any odds that Lance has not beaten?  I’ll try to give you a point – counter point on the issue over the next few days.  What do you think?

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What does ASO do with Astana now?

June 3, 2008

You have to think that ASO president Patrice Clerk and his lieutenant Christian Prudhomme are wringing their hands after the defending Tour de France Champion Alberto Contador won the Giro D’Italia.

I figured I would take a look at the reasons given for excluding Astana from this year’s tour. In order to do that, I’ll pull some Shakespearean quotes. Why Shakespeare? Well, as my high school English teacher said. “Shakespeare loves a bloodbath.”

Back on February 13th, Christian Prudhomme announced that Astana and Contador would stay home this July. His reason?

“The damage caused by this team to the Tour de France and cycling in general, both in 2006 and 2007 led to their exclusion.”

Hmm. So T-Mobile who had two past winners involved in doping will also be excluded?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

T-Mobile first cleaned house. But, so did Astana. Ah, T-Mobile changed it’s name. That must be it. Teams that keep their name are excluded.

CINNA THE POET
Truly, my name is Cinna.

First Citizen
Tear him to pieces; he’s a conspirator.

CINNA THE POET
I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.

Fourth Citizen
Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.

CINNA THE POET
I am not Cinna the conspirator.

Fourth Citizen
It is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but his
name out of his heart, and turn him going.

I guess, just like the play Julius Caesar Astana is being killed only for their name. But wait, What about Cofidis? This group did not change their name?

I’ll end with a quote from The Taming of the Shrew.

“Asses are made to bear, and so are you”